After a dismal start to Pac-12 play, with their sole win coming from Utah, ASU basketball looks to pick up their first home conference win against the Oregon State Beavers. The Sun Devils, who have dropped from No. 3 to No.11 in the AP Polls since the start of conference play look to gain back momentum and improve their 1-3 record.
In their most recent loss against the Oregon Ducks, the Sun Devils struggled with the slower tempo set during the game. ASU’s success with their quick tempo play made them the final undefeated team in Division I basketball.
Now to defend “The Bank,” the Sun Devils face a defensively sound Oregon State team.
The Beavers, who are 2-2 in conference, 10-6 overall and have won eight of their last 11 games and have held their last four opponents to less than 70 points, including holding the Arizona Wildcats to 62 points Thursday.
Lead by sophomore guard Tres Tinkle, with an average of 18.3 points and 7.3 assists, the Beavers’ solid frontcourt will once again put Guard U to the test.
ASU needs to gain back their early season momentum to keep up with Oregon State.
The Sun Devils, who have been reliant on senior guards Tra Holder, Shannon Evans II and Kodi Justice will need to put up points early against the Beavers in order to set their much needed tempo early into the game.
In addition to putting up early points, ASU’s shot selection will need to improve from their performance against the Ducks.
Most importantly, the Sun Devil guards will need a strong support system in their frontcourt. Despite the presence of freshman Romello White and sophomore Mickey Mitchell, the frontcourt is still taking a back seat to the Sun Devils’ dominant perimeter play.
So heavily reliant on their backcourt last season, the Sun Devils have struggled to produce in the paint. Something that has contributed to ASU’s struggle in the Pac-12.
Whether ASU can pull out a win against the Beavers will rely on their ability to set the tempo early and how efficiently their frontcourt can execute on the offense and support their guard play. Tip-off against the Beavers will be at 4 p.m. MST at the Wells Fargo Arena.